All-Russian population census to be held in October

The All-Russian population census is scheduled for October. Russian Minister for Affairs of Nationalities Vladimir Zorin says that the census is designed “to demonstrate the population’s demographic and social characteristics, but also outline today’s ethnic and cultural character of the Russian people.”

Questionnaires with questions and detailed variants of answers to the questions are to be developed for the census. Furthermore, the answers will be analyzed. As cited by RIA Novosti, Vladimir Zorin says he hopes the authorities will make it possible for the people “to express their ethnicity (national) openly”. The 2002 census is believed to be the most democratic, and no sad situations from history can be repeated, when whole nations remained unrecognized and were registered under wrong names. People participating in the census will call state their genuine nationalities themselves, as they feel themselves. At the same time, the State Duma’s decision to cancel the nationality line in Russian passports is and will be valid. Here, in Russia, only the nationality of parents is mentioned on birth certificates of children.

PRAVDA.Ru reported recently that deputies of the Murmansk regional Duma spoke in support of retaining the nationality section in passports. The deputies wrote an address to the Russian government to defend “the right of peoples to mention their national identity in passports.” Otherwise, as the deputies think, “it is going to be a violation of the right for a traditional mode of living and trades of peoples.” Particularly, problems arise at getting privileges for usage of land and natural resources that are provided by the Russian legislation.

The organization and implementation of the population census will cost not less than 3 billion rubles. The only problem that is expected to arise during the census is the availability of respondents, as some people will not let census activists in their homes for the fear of thieves. Another problem is an insufficient number of census interviewers themselves, because their wages are planned to be very low.

A recently held expanded collegium of the RF Statistics Committee was dedicated to training personnel for participating in the coming population census. The committee’s press-service informs that over 600,000 people are necessary for the census. ABN reports tjat 430,000 people of the total number will be involved in the questioning itself.

Students and teachers from higher institutions and technical schools, unemployed people registered at the employment offices, pensioners, etc. are to be involved in the population census as interviewers.

A special information center for the organization and realization of the 2002 population census in Moscow has been created on the initiative of the Moscow government. As reported, the center is to be created for a large-scale information and explanatory campaign on the very eve of the All-Russian population census. Fifteen specialists are already employed at the center.

Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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